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October 22, 2014

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'Out Of The Furnace' Makers Sued By New Jersey Tribe

'Out Of The Furnace' Makers Sued By New Jersey Tribe

12/27/2013

Several members of the New Jersey-based Ramapough Native American tribe are suing the makers of feature film Out of the Furnace for $50 million, claiming that the movie’s portrayal is far from accurate and damaging.

Out of the Furnace Makers Sued

In Out of the Furnace, Russell Baze (Christian Bale) travels to the Ramapo Mountains along the New York-New Jersey border to exact revenge on the man who killed his younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) after a bare-knuckled fight. The man that Russ seeks to kill is Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). The character, who bears the last name of many in the region including many of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, is a murdering drug-addicted bookie.

Woody Harrelson as Harlan DeGroat in 'Out of the Furnace'

NJ Tribe Members Offended By Movie Portrayal

Among the many issues the Ramapough tribe – descendants of the Lenape nation with European ancestry in their heritage – has with Out of the Furnace is the notion that the people in these mountains are inbreds, according to CNN. The movie also refers to them using the derogatory term “Jackson Whites.”

"Any reasonable person would be offended by the false light in which the movie placed the people who have the family name of DeGroat and Van Dunk and who are known to live in the Ramapo Mountains and/or be part of the group now or formerly known as Jackson Whites," the suit claims.

As of yet, the studio that released Out of the Furnace, Relativity Media, has not publicly commented on the suit. The film's writers and producers of the movie were also named in the filing.

– Chelsea Regan

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Read more: Out of the Furnace, Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Ramapough Native Americans, Courts

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